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Discussion Starter #1
A week or so ago I started giving my 7mo boy some raw chicken thigh meat along with his usual Merrick cans and pumpkin puree. He had soft poo before but since the raw chicken thigh meat, his poop has firmed up very nicely.

Yesterday I got some fresh chicken livers and hearts, super gross!! I washed and froze them right away..very gross, I was gagging the whole time. Today I fed him the usual Merrick wet, pumpkin puree, raw chicken thigh, and I added a small amount of raw liver / heart. He pretty much finished all of the raw meats and left the Merrick wet and pumpkin puree in the bowl.

Questions

1) I am very new to raw diet. If I follow the 80/10/5/5, do I still need to add supplements?

2) I do not have a grinder and do not want to buy one. Can I just cut up my raw meat into smaller bite size chunks?

3) next step is to add bones. since I don't have a grinder, how should I prepare the bones? Are the bones inside chicken wings OK? If I don't know how to prepare the bones, do I need to mix in some calcium supplements?

4) I think I will always give him a scoop of wet food as I am not confident with the nutrition portions of my raw meats. Is this a good way to go? problem is he always picks out the raw and leaves the wet food in the bowl. I'm concerned that I might not be able to get the nutrition formula right. Any suggestions?

Thank you!
 

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I've never had a grinder but have always fed some raw as the mix in the diet of mine - going back ages ago when it wasn't acceptable. The meat I cut into bits - I let them gnaw on hard bones that won't splinter (and they all have good teeth except Lottie who came with a lot of hers missing) - others if I am going to use them, I powder with pestle and mortar.
 

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1) Nope you don't need to add any supplements, if you do prey model raw. You only need to add supplements (someone correct me if I'm wrong!) if you're not feeding a balanced ratio like that

2) Nope you don't need a grinder either :) you can just feed in chunks

3) Not so sure about calcium supplements... I think start off with softer bones like chicken wings/legs/necks?

4) Perhaps instead of mixing them in one meal you could do one meal raw, one meal canned?

Hope that helps some! :D
 

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The only supplements I've ever heard mentioned when it comes to RAW feeding cats is taurine.

For example, I found this snippet here:

Third, cats do not have the capability to create taurine from methionine and cysteine, like dogs do.
- What About Cats?


You can definitely add other things, though - I supplement my dog's RAW diet with ACV, probiotics, and coconut/krill oil.

The cats get probiotics and krill oil, too. It's not mandatory, but it is a great addition to their diet nevertheless.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I read using powdered eggshells as an alternative to bones is good for cats with renal problems. How about for healthy cats? I eat a ton of eggs and it would be super convenient if I can use eggshells as an alternative to bones!

I'm having the hardest time handling the super Gross livers and hearts, and my kitty had soft stool after eating raw organs for the first time. I have temporarily gone back to combination of Merrick cans and raw chicken thighs.
 

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It's normal for cats to have diarrhea after being switched to a new diet. (or in this case, adding new things) Especially organ meat, which is very rich. If you didn't already, feeding it in veryyy small amounts at first will probably help. Give her time to build up to the full amount.
 

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I feed my cat a commercial ground raw, and I supplement it with Alnutrin and taurine:

A Guide To A Balanced, Homemade Cat Food - Alnutrin Supplements

I am NOT 100% sure if a cat on a not-ground raw diet also needs the supplements, but I would imagine they do. Not sure how to deal with supplementation on larger chunks either - dust it on? You may want to email Alnutrin and ask for their advice.

But I do believe ALL raw diets need to be supplemented - commercial canned brands add supplements.

If you can stand it, you can also look around for pinkie mice, baby quail, and chicks to supplement the diet and add bone/"fiber" material (the feathers). I give my 17-year-old pinkie mice every once in a while. I haven't been able to transition her to "whole prey", which is why I usually stick to the ground raw which has the proper %s already.

I believe other owners will give chicken necks, ribs, and backs as edible bones for their kitties. I didn't have luck with mine with chicken necks, but your boy might be more willing to try.

Definitely supplement those thighs if that's all the raw he's getting for now - you might want to try Alnutrin with eggshell calcium if he's not getting the bone content he needs.

Arianwen:

http://www.littlebigcat.com/nutrition/choosing-an-omega-3-oil-for-your-pet/
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Do I need to supplement his Raws if I continue to give him some merrick cans along with his raw chicken this and hearts/livers in the same meal?
 

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If you're concerned, you can always use a premix powder. A premix powder is a powder that you mix into raw meat and water and it creates a sauce on the meat that has balanced nutrients in it. It's a bit pricey but it's worth it for peace of mind if you're not 100% confident in doing prey model raw. Premixes are made by two brands that I know of, Feline Instincts and TC Feline. You can also get the liver powder so you don't have to cut up fresh liver if you prefer not to!

I did prey model raw with my cat for 2 years and it worked out. I supplemented some taurine vitamin E, and fish oil, based off of the TC feline home made cat food recipe. but after a while she started being really finicky and not eating the bones, so I always dreaded "bone day" lol. I used to cut up poussin (young chicken) for her and feed her a portion twice a week along with some liver (feeding soft organ meat along with boney meals will help balance out the poop). I switched to Feline Instincts premix and she likes it and it's a lot more convenient, but I will have to get her teeth cleaned more often probably because she is not eating bones anymore.
 

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I'm honestly not sure about long-term mixing of canned and raw. I DO give my cat canned on the days when she doesn't want to eat raw, and then I switch back to raw the day after, and I haven't seen any ill effects. However, I DO supplement her raw with a nutritional supplement, so no matter which type of food she gets, I know she's getting her nutrients and taurine.

I personally would feel better putting a nutritional supplement on the raw, if I were mixing diets like you, but that's just me.
 

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I mix raw and canned. Mine only get raw a few days a week and eat canned the rest of the time. I'd say it's 80% canned/ 20% raw.

As I understand it, for the canned food to provide the proper amount of nutrients it must be fed at least 50% of the overall diet. So, 1 tbsp would not be enough.

I've never ground their food. They get whole bones. They started with smaller, softer bones and worked up to bigger bones (except MowMow who still gets small bones because he's a delicate little orchid flower).
 
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